Canadian and American trade negotiators are under intense pressure to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement by deadline. Image: iStock

Canadian and American negotiators were holding last-minute talks on Sunday aimed at overhauling the North American Free Trade Agreement ahead of a midnight deadline imposed by Washington, AFP reported

Unlike in previous rounds where Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had traveled to Washington, the latest talks were being held via telephone.

Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to US President Donald Trump, told Fox News: “Everybody is negotiating in good faith right now as we speak. The deadline is midnight tonight to get the text into Congress to make sure this goes forward.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office indicated that the negotiations were ongoing but did not make an announcement.

The US and Mexico want to push a deal they separately negotiated through their respective legislatures before Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office on December 1.

The US Congress must have the text of the deal by Sunday if a 60-day review period is to be respected.

Trump has been pushing for a complete overhaul of the 25-year-old continental trade deal, which he says has been a “rip-off” for the US.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.